The American Cemetery in Manila, decorated for Memorial Day, 2014.
Because Monday is not celebrated as a holiday in the Philippines, this commemoration is always held on the preceding Sunday. Every one of the over 17,000 graves has an American flag and a Philippine flag placed in front of its marker. This tradition hearkens back almost 150 years to the time when this holiday was called "Decoration Day" at its inception shortly after the American Civil War.
Grave of Leonard Wilski, a great-uncle of our daughter-in-law Carolyn
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, speaks to the gathering
Some of the many beautiful wreaths presented, these ones by the United States, the Philippines, and several other nations with dignitaries in attendance
Wreaths presented by: (center) the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Filipino American Memorial Endowment, (left) the American Association of the Philippines, and (right) an American Legion Post frame us and Dan McKinnon, an email friend, who has now become a face-to-face friend.
Wreath offered by AWON, the American World War II Orphans Network
Our Aussie friend, Paul Whitman, presenting photo disk to Steve. Paul is working with the Filipinas Heritage Library within the Ayala Museum to digitize the photos of World War II in the Philippines.
Bob Hudson, author of the feature article, and Steve, contributing photographer for the cover, holding the April issue of the AMCHAM Business Journal
Steve's photo of the cross at Mount Samat National Shrine, with a superimposed photo of the Bataan Death March provided by The American Historical Collection
Marcia with Boy Scout leaders.
Their scouts were in charge of the very important job of handing out drinking water to attendees, as well as collecting the empty bottles.
And now a change of mood
Paul Whitman thought to himself as he passed this before the ceremony, "This is one 'big ass fan.'" The fan must be at least six feet in diameter.
It turns out he was right!
After the ceremony we went to breakfast with our friend Mark and his son and daughter, who collected name tags from some of the dignitaries. Here Paul sports the tag from one of the guest speakers, Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Navy.
A picture taken recently by our friend Ebb while on an outing in the Province of Batangas. What is a "High Speed Sewer?"
Think about it...
This has GOT to be one of the funniest signs ever! Marcia spotted it when Joe, our friends' driver, stopped at a fuel station.